Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Three explosions in Dahab kills at least 23

At about 19:15 local time, three different explosions rocked the tourist town of Dahab, popular with young backpackers and scuba divers, mostly European and Israelis. The information is still sketchy, but the BBC reports at least 23 dead and up to 150 people injured and the New York Times gives a higher number of 30, and 115 injured. The discrepancy in numbers is between the interior ministry´s numbers, and the police´s numbers that are higher. According to the Minister of Interior Habib al Adly, 20 Egyptians and three foreigners are among the dead, a six year old German child, a Russian and probably a Swiss national, altough the last are not officially confirmed by the Interior ministry. 42 Egyptians and 17 foreigners are among the wounded there were three Danes, three Britons, two Italians, two Germans, two French people, a South Korean, a Lebanese, a Palestinian, an American, an Israeli and an Australian.

Egypt was having a national holiday, Sham an Nessim, just days after the coptic easter, and that means that many egyptians were in Dahab as well as foreigners. The Israeli Ambassador pointed out thgat there were 1800 israelis in the area. Considering that the Jewish passover was last weekend it could have been twice or tripple that number, had this occured a week ago. There was also a lot of material damage on the Nelson Restaurant, the Aladdin Cafeteria and the Ghazala Supermarket, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said. The restaurant al Capone, and some bazars were also damaged.

At first it seemed to have been remote detonate devices, rather than suicide bombers, then the governor of South Sinai, Muhammed Hani claimed that it was suicide bombers. The government spokesperson Magdi Radi claimed to the BBC World that their is two different theories, and that they are still investigating.

This is the third major attack in Egypt since October 2004, when 34 people died in Taba, Nuweiba and Ras Shitan, and last July when about 64 people died in Sharm al Shaikh. My condolences to everybody who have lost their loved ones tonight.

I would think that an imadiate result would be the sacking of the Minister of Interior, Habib al Adly. it´s unprecedented in recent history that a minister of Interior get´s to keep his portfolio after three major terrorist attacks. Usually the president´s paticience is not that long.

Another development will most probably be mass arests of suspects, and the government will do anything to say that this was not al Qaida, that it was homegrown, anything to save the tourism industry. In fact i already heard some official saying that this had no connection whatsoever with any of the recent attacks.

In a development resemblemling the aftermath of the Sharm al Shaikh bombings in July, a demonstration against the bombings and terrorism. About a 100 Egyptians and foreign tourists joined togheter in a show of solidatrity with the .killed, the wounded, their relatives and local people who risks losing part of their livelyhood because of the carnage. Leading the demonstration was Ahmad Nazif, the Egyptian Prime Minister.

In another development 10 Egyptians have been detained by the police. This is probably the first in a series of arrests to follow. In addition to the 10 arrested, the police also questioned 70 bedouins informally, hopefully the fact that they are not arrested means that they will be asked for background information and treated in a official and cordial manner.


Blogger Sniff said...

I agree, my heartfelt condolences to all that are affected.

There is something odd about the pattern of these attacks though - even f I can't quite pinpoint what. Sinai, majot Egyptian holidays - who and why, against who and what?

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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11:27 AM  

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